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Kenney loses UCP Calgary caucus chair over Sky Palace Scandal

And Richard Gotfried, MLA for Calgary Fish Creek is slamming the “hypocrisy” of some of those in government.

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The UCP caucus chair for Calgary has stepped down from his role in the wake of Jason Kenney’s Sky Palace shindig.

And Richard Gotfried, MLA for Calgary Fish Creek, is slamming the “hypocrisy” of some of those in government.

“From the beginning of this pandemic, I have been vocal and outspoken both internally in Caucus and in the community around the importance of leading by example, avoiding hypocrisy and walking the talk. None of us has been perfect, but as your elected representative, you rightly hold us to a high standard, or at minimum to the rules and regulations we set out for others,” Gotfried wrote in a Facebook statement.

“I call upon ALL elected representatives, from all levels of government across our province to show leadership, to act responsibly and to avoid the hypocrisy that makes a mockery of the tough decisions we have to make and the sacrifices/responsible behaviour we have been asking of each and every Albertan for the past 15 months.

“I fully intend to continue to be an outspoken messenger of what I am hearing from my constituents, and in fact, I just resigned as Calgary Caucus Chair on Thursday to ensure my message as the MLA for Calgary-Fish Creek is not conflated with my role as caucus chair. This will allow me even more latitude to speak unreservedly on matters of principle, ethics and government/caucus operations, hopefully for the benefit of all Albertans, and the earning of the TRUST that I think must be the cornerstone of any enduring public or private organization!”

Leela Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism, and Status of Women, and Minister of Community and Social Services Rajan Sawhney both took shots at Kenney over the weekend.

UCP MLAs Angela Pitt and David Hanson have publicly said they were appalled by the group’s behaviour. Independent MLA’s Drew Barnes and Todd Loewen have called on Kenney to resign.

Kenney was pilloried after photos emerged last week showing him sitting with eight other people – including cabinet ministers – on the Sky Palace’s patio, clearly not following socially distancing rules. The linen-covered table is topped with a 40 oz. bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey, wine glasses and bottled water.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro, Finance Minister Travis Toews, Government House Leader Jason Nixon were all gathered around the table.

The Western Standard’s Fact Check found Kenney and his guests have 18 counts of violating their own regulations, and eight counts of violating their own guidelines.

Kenney claimed it was a working business dinner that was taken outside because the risk of virus transmission is lower than being inside. He brushed aside NDP criticism, saying they did not want Alberta to reopen and no COVID-19 regulations were broken.

The Sky Palace was a media-dubbed name when it emerged former Premier Alison Redford was renovating the top of the Federal Building into a private residence for her and her daughter.

More to come….

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Sol Zia

    June 8, 2021 at 6:58 am

    I have nothing but respect for Richard Gotfried, MLA for Calgary Fish Creek, so when you lose his (type of) loyalty, you have to look in the mirror and ask yourself some serious questions.

  2. Darlene

    June 7, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    One rat abandoning the big rat!

  3. Claudette Leece

    June 7, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    Can see the UCP , is realizing keeping Kenney is becoming worse than dumping him. Although for me the fact some of these MLA are ok with the lockdowns good enough reason to get rid of them. Time for them to get their act together, because even the faithful have had enough. Time to show Kenney the door and he can take Hinshaw with him, and get AB back on track, before the Wildrose Sepertists are running AB

  4. Bryan

    June 7, 2021 at 11:51 am

    Rats abandoning a sinking ship?

  5. K

    June 7, 2021 at 11:50 am

    All of them should step down. UCP/NDP are all evil liars as long as they perpetuate the myth of the virus lie.

  6. Nele

    June 7, 2021 at 10:03 am

    UCP=NDP

  7. berta baby

    June 7, 2021 at 9:46 am

    It’s so funny the drones kenney the communist wanted to use to spy on the folks in the end was used to spy on him…. lol how do you like them apples ? What a dumpster fire leader he is

  8. Cosmo Kramer

    June 7, 2021 at 9:36 am

    I do agree with Mr. Gotfried and Mrs. Aheer in regards to politicians being also being bound by the rules they are forcing on others. However, there is still too much of this (particularly from Aheer) “we are all in this together and must follow the lockdown rules to put covid19 behind us”. Lockdowns are wrong period. This cannot be applauded in that they may just be throwing Kenney under the bus but are still intent on implementing agenda 2021, agenda 2030, great reset, forced injection/sterilization, etc. I do know that Angela Pitt has been against lockdowns but UCP snakes cannot be trusted. Conservative support must go to the Wildrose Independence Party.

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News

Edmonton anchor fuming after pride flag ripped down

Karstens-Smith said she has called police and urged people to share her post so the culprit can be found.

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An Edmonton news anchor is furious after a Pride flag was ripped down from its pole outside her home.

“I am LIVID right now,” tweeted Breanna Karstens-Smith, a Global anchor.

Karstens-Smith

“This just happened at my house. Someone came and tore down our Pride flag. No one touched it for a year when it was a Canada flag but now that it’s for pride this happens.

“THIS IS WHY WE NEED PRIDE MONTH.”

Karstens-Smith said she has called police and urged people to share her post so the culprit can be found.

Pride flag torn down

“And they are greatly mistaken if they think we’re not putting another one up. Ordering a new flag pole now. Flag is thankfully fine but we got it from @thequiltbagyeg and would love to see more in our city,” she tweeted.

“Our flag is back up and our house feels right again. Thank you for the kind messages of support. The best part is hearing from people now putting up their own flags. I’d love to see photos of them. Happy Pride.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Regina chamber CEO calls COVID-19 protesters ‘narrow, dimwitted, racist’

“I personally do not support the anti-mask movement at all. I find their views narrow, dimwitted, racist and teetering on the edge of outright lunacy,” said John Hopkins.

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Regina Chamber of Commerce CEO John Hopkins denounced COVID-19 protesters and their message in an email sent to the organization’s members.

“The anti-mask group in Regina are a very small but loud group. They have been protesting for months. They believe that they have a right to not wear a mask,” Hopkins wrote.

“Some are of the view that there are tracking devices in the masks and still others believe that this is a global conspiracy.

“…the anti-maskers have crossed the line. They have been harassing business owners, people on the street and now their latest target, kids at schools. In my opinion targeting kids is too far, way too far.

“I personally do not support the anti-mask movement at all. I find their views narrow, dimwitted, racist and teetering on the edge of outright lunacy. They certainly have the right to say what they want but the same rights and privileges extend to the rest of us….

“Racism is a vicious challenge that we need to address as a country, province and community. The time has come to act and stand up.”

The Western Standard asked Hopkins what harassment had occurred in Regina.

“There’s a candy shop on 13th Avenue,” Hopkins said.

“The business owner asked them to put on a mask and they refused and business owner refused to serve them.”

The incident from May 26 was watched almost 30,000 times on a YouTube video. The would-be customers were standing outside on the deck of the business across from the serving window.

“There has been some altercations between anti maskers and other people, actually on the street, I believe on Albert Street,” Hopkins said.

“And throughout the course of the last 14 months on, generally speaking, it’s just been people on the side of the street.”

Hopkins’ accusation of racism concerned comments made about Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab.

“There were some very troubling remarks about Dr. Shahab that the premier addressed. We were quite concerned about that… as well as other sort of comments on telling people to go home and that type of thing on some of the signs.”

At a December 14 press conference, Premier Moe said the “end was in sight” for COVID-19 restrictions, but he was “embarassed” at “racist”,”foolish”, and “idiotic” comments made by a protester at the legislature. In a video posted days before, a man tried to say Shahab’s name a few times unsuccessfully before commenting, “can’t get these foreigners’ names right.”

Regarding students, Hopkins said, “I’ve heard that they were at a school and that they were talking to kids at a school this past week….and parking in the school parking lot….I just think going to the school is a bit much.”

Hopkins said masks help.

“It blows my mind that somehow when the Chief Medical Officer – not only one, but many across the country, and in fact, globally – are saying, wear a mask, I think it’s pretty straightforward wearing a mask is one of the things that can help people stay safe…Even though we’re making headway against the virus, it’s still out there that masks aren’t doing anything. And I find it just bizarre.”

The email was posted on the Freedom Alliance Facebook page by Kevin Volk.

“Check out this crap that was sent to me,” Volk wrote, urging people to phone the chamber to express their displeasure.

Volk told the Western Standard he had a cleaning business and had been a chamber member “for well over ten years.”

“This is just another slap in the face for business owners. The chamber has been pushing for businesses to remain closed even tho they are supposed to help businesses. They have done absolutely nothing for small businesses owners,” he said.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Canadians hit with millions of dollars of COVID fines

Cabinet tabled in the Commons detailed enforcement actions under the Quarantine Act.

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The feds have issued tickets for close to $3 million for COVID-19 scofflaws who have refused to quarantine at hotels after arriving back in the country, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Other tickets handed out include fines for fraudulent COVID-19 test results.

Cabinet tabled in the Commons detailed enforcement actions under the Quarantine Act.

“I think it is important that we adhere to the public health advice that we are all getting, that we do our part as Canadians to try and protect our health care system,” Health Minister Patricia Hajdu earlier told reporters.

Records show a total 988 air passengers were each ticketed $3,000 for “refusing to go to government-approved accommodation” on arrival in Canada. The majority of tickets, 621, were issued at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport followed by Vancouver (194 tickets) and Montréal (173).

Cabinet on January 7 passed an order requiring all air travelers to prove they were COVID-19-free with tests taken a maximum 72 hours prior to arrival. An identical order for cross-border drivers was invoked February 22.

The Canada Border Services Agency found 62 travelers with fake tests, said the report, and four were each ticketed $3,000.

Another 9,003 travelers were cited for not having proof of a valid test, including 4,583 drivers and 4,420 air passengers.

“This would include individuals who did not test at all, who were in possession of tests outside the required 72-hour time frame, tests that did not originate from the required country of origin, tests that are suspected fraudulent and other reasons,” wrote staff.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair defended the enforcement.

“Cancel your vacation plans,” Blair told reporters February 12.

“Stay home. Respect the rules. We believe that through these effective measures, appropriate screening and the testing measures in particular that we have put in place coupled with robust and enforced quarantine orders, it is the best way to prevent variants from spreading across our borders into Canada.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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